Chapter 2 Tools and Resources for Providing English Learners With

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  • 1TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR PROVIDING ELS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    Updated November 2016ESSA

    UPDATE

    INCLUDED*

    CHAPTER 2

    TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR PROVIDING ENGLISH LEARNERS WITH A

    LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM This is the second chapter of the English Learner Tool Kit, which is intended to help state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) meet their obligations to English Learners (ELs). This tool kit should be read in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justices (DOJ) Dear Colleague Letter on English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents, published in January 2015, which outlines SEAs and LEAs legal obligations to ELs under civil rights laws and other federal requirements. The Dear Colleague Letter can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ellresources.html.

    PROVIDING ENGLISH LEARNERS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    KEY POINTS EL services and programs must be educationally sound

    in theory and effective in practice.

    EL programs must be designed to enable ELs to attain both English proficiency and parity of participation in the standard instructional program within a reasonable length of time.

    LEAs must offer EL services and programs, until ELs are proficient in English and can participate meaningfully in educational programs without EL support.

    Additionally, LEAs must provide appropriate special education services to ELs with disabilities who are found to be eligible for special education and related services.

    After ELs have been identified using a valid and reliable English language proficiency (ELP) assessment, LEAs must provide ELs with appropriate language assistance services and programs, commonly known as EL services and programs. LEAs must also provide special education services to ELs who have been identified as children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or as qualified students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section504). Meeting the needs of ELs with disabilities will be discussed in depth in Chapter 6 of the EL Tool Kit.

    LEAs have the flexibility to choose the EL services and programs that meet civil rights requirements and best meet the needs of their EL population. Appropriate EL services and programs enable ELs to attain both English proficiency and parity of participation in the standard instructional program within a reasonable amount of time. LEAs must offer appropriate EL services until ELs are proficient in English and can participate meaningfully in educational programs without EL support. This includes continuing to provide EL services to ELs at the highest levels of English proficiency until they have exited from EL services and programs.

    Updated November 2016

    *This chapter has been updated to reflect changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The U.S. Department of Education has released a non-regulatory guidance (NRG) about ELs and Title III of the ESEA that is available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essatitleiiiguidenglishlearners92016.pdf. The text of ESEA, as amended by ESSA, can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/documents/essa-act-of-1965.pdf.

    You can access Tools and Resources for Providing ELs with a Language Assistance Program at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html.

    http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.htmlhttp://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ellresources.htmlhttp://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essatitleiiiguidenglishlearners92016.pdfhttp://www2.ed.gov/documents/essa-act-of-1965.pdf

  • You can access Tools and Resources for Providing ELs with a Language Assistance Program at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html.

    2 TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR PROVIDING ELS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    Updated November 2016

    To determine which EL services and programs are best suited for a student identified as an EL, LEAs must consider the students (1) English proficiency level, (2) grade level, and (3) educational background, as well as (4)language background for bilingual programs. Other child-centered factors that LEAs may consider include the students native language literacy; acculturation into U.S. society; and age he or she entered the United States. LEAs must ensure that qualified teachers provide EL services and it is important for school personnel to understand and address these factors.

    LEAs should apply the same standards that OCR and DOJ apply when evaluating whether their chosen EL services and programs meet civil rights requirements. These standards, established in Castaeda v. Pickard, include a three-pronged test: First, is the program based on an educational theory recognized as sound by some experts in the field or considered a legitimate experimental strategy? Second, are the programs and practices (including resources and personnel) reasonably calculated to implement this theory effectively? Third, does the program succeed in producing results indicating that students language barriers are being overcome within a reasonable period of time?

    Some common EL programs considered educationally sound in theory under the first prong include: (1) English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Development (ELD); (2) Structured English Immersion (SEI); (3) Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) or Early-Exit Bilingual Education; and (4) Dual Language or Two-Way Immersion. The first two programs are usually taught in English, and the latter two are taught both in English and in the ELs primary language.

    Additionally, for new arrivals and students with interrupted formal education (SIFE), LEAs may establish newcomer programs. These programs offer specialized services and classes to help these students acclimate to U.S. schools, develop foundational skills in content areas (e.g., basic literacy and math concepts), and prepare them for the program options above. Newcomer programs are short-term, typically lasting no longer than one year.

    Finally, there is increased focus on the large number of ELs who, despite many years in US schools, are still not proficient in English. These students are often referred to as Long Term English Learners (LTELs). To ensure that LEAs have selected and implemented EL services and

    programs that succeed within a reasonable period of time, LEAs should monitor the progress of ELs and adjust EL services and programs to ensure that students are making expected progress.

    The following checklist is intended to assist with providing appropriate EL services and programs. The checklist provides suggested questions only. LEAs should check their SEAs policies and federal guidance to ensure compliance.

    On which educational theory are the EL services and program options based?

    What are the resources needed to effectively implement the chosen program?

    Does the school have qualified staff to implement the chosen program?

    How are placement in a particular EL program and the provision of EL services informed by a students English proficiency level, grade level, and educational and language backgrounds?

    Are EL services and programs provided to all eligible ELs, regardless of scheduling conflicts, grade, disability, or native language?

    Does the chosen EL program include instruction aligned to the state ELP standards and grade-level content standards?

    Do the EL services and programs provide ELs in all grades with equal opportunities to participate meaningfully and equally in all of the schools curricular and extracurricular programs?

    While the ESEA, as amended by ESSA, does not give a definition of a long-term English learner, Section 3121(a)(6) mandates a report every two years of the number and percentage of ELs who have not yet attained English language proficiency within five years. SEAs and LEAs may consider these students as long term ELs after this time (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2016, p. 38).

    ESSA UPDATE

  • You can access Tools and Resources for Providing ELs with a Language Assistance Program at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html.

    3TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR PROVIDING ELS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    Updated November 2016

    Are EL services and programs designed to provide more intensive instruction for ELs who are the least proficient in English?

    Are ELs at the highest levels of ELP continuing to receive EL services until they have exited from EL services and programs?

    Are there additional EL services and programs available for ELs who have not made expected progress despite extended enrollment in the EL program (i.e. LTELs)?

    What criteria is the LEA using to evaluate its program and determine if it is meeting its goals?

    For example:

    a. Are there processes and criteria in place to monitor ELs in and across programs in both academic content and ELP?

    b. Is there a process for modifying or replacing the EL program if data shows that students are not making expected progress within a reasonable period of time?

    c. Is there a process for monitoring ELs after exiting the program?

  • You can access Tools and Resources for Providing ELs with a Language Assistance Program at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html.

    PROVIDING ENGLISH LEARNERS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    TOOLSThe U.S. Department of Education does not mandate or prescribe particular curricula, lesson plans, assessments, or other instruments in this tool kit. This tool kit contains examples of, adaptations of, and links to resources created and maintained by other public and private organizations. This information is provided for the readers convenience and is included here to offer examples of the many resources that educators, parents, advocates, administrators, and other interested parties may find helpful and use at their discretion. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links to items does not reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or materials provided.

    4 TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR PROVIDING ELS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    Updated November 2016

    The following set of tools is intended to help schools, LEAs, and SEAs in providing ELs with appropriate language assistance services and programs, commonly known as EL services and programs, and sometimes referred to as language instruction education programs (LIEPs). The tools give examples of how schools can understand the individual needs of students, identify the needs of subgroups of students, and apply systemic considerations when determining what EL services and programs they should offer.

    Tool #1, Guiding Questions to Learn About Your EL Population, can help schools/LEAs learn important information about their ELs.

    Tool #2, Long Term English Learners, provides a checklist for schools and LEAs to address the needs of this particular group of ELs.

    Tool #3, Research-Based Considerations, offers broad-based considerations for EL services and programs.

    Tool #4, English Learner Program Chart, gives a brief overview of some EL programs.

  • The EL Tool Kit contains examples of, adaptations of, and links to resources created and maintained by other public and private organizations. This information is provided for the readers convenience and is included here to offer examples of the many resources that educators, parents, advocates, administrators, and other interested parties may find helpful and use at their discretion. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links to items does not reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or materials provided.

    You can access Tools and Resources for Providing ELs with a Language Assistance Program at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/index.html.

    5TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR PROVIDING ELS WITH A LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    Updated November 2016

    TOOL #1 GUIDING QUESTIONS TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR EL POPULATION

    In order to select or create an appropriate EL program model, it is necessary to understand the local EL population. To help do this, the Education Alliance at Brown Universitys 2003 publication Claiming Opportunities: A Handbook for Improving Education for English Language Learners Through Comprehensive School Reform provides a Student Population Discussion Tool. This set of ten questions, listed below, can assist schools or LEAs in discussing and learning about their EL populations, and help teachers frame these discussions. Organizations may add to or modify these questions to obtain more information about various sub-populations, including ELs with disabilities.

    STUDENT POPULATION DISCUSSION TOOL1. How many or what percentage of students in the school have a home language other than English?

    2. What languages are spoken in their homes?

    3. What places of origin are represented?

    4. Are students from urban or rural backgrounds?

    5. What community organizations represent various groups?

    6. What educational backgrounds are represented? (Continuous or interrupted prior schooling, no prior schooling, schooling in home country, rural or urban schooling, preschool, kindergarten?)

    7. Are some students literate in another language?

    8. Are ELs the subject of many disciplinary referrals or actions in your school?

    9. How many or what percentage of students in the school are actually classified as EL? How many students currently receive language services? How are these students distributed across grade levels? What are their levels of English proficiency? What language services do ELs currently receive? In what types of classrooms do they receive literacy and content instruction? What are these ELs academic strengths and weaknesses? (What is the evidence?)

    10. How many students (for whom English is a second language) have met exiting criteria and are now classified as English proficient?

    How are these students distributed across grade levels? What services, such as monitoring or transitional support, do exited ELs currently receive? How do they perform in mainstream classes? (What is the evidence?) What are their academic strengths and weaknesses? (What is the evidence?)

    Source: Vialpando, J., Yedlin, J., Linse, C., Harrington, M., & Cannon, G. (2005). Educating English language learners: Implementing instructional practices. Washington, DC: National Council of La Raza. Retrieved from http://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.a...

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